Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 490900
Title Economic performance and sustainability of a novel intercropping system on the north China plain
Author(s) Huang, C.; Liu, Q.; Heerink, N.B.M.; Stomph, T.J.; Li, B.; Liu, R.; Zhang, H.; Wang, C.; Li, X.; Zhang, C.; Werf, W. van der; Zhang, F.
Source PLoS ONE 10 (2015)8. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 16 p.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0135518
Department(s) Development Economics
Centre for Crop Systems Analysis
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Keyword(s) reducing environmental risk - nutrient-use efficiency - food security - crop productivity - n management - resource use - agriculture - competition - fertilizer - diversity
Abstract Double cropping of wheat and maize is common on the North China Plain, but it provides limited income to rural households due to the small farm sizes in the region. Local farmers in Quzhou County have therefore innovated their production system by integration of watermelon as a companion cash crop into the system. We examine the economic performance and sustainability of this novel intercropping system using crop yield data from 2010 to 2012 and farm household survey data collected in 2012. Our results show that the gross margin of the intercropping system exceeded that of the double cropping system by more than 50% in 2012. Labor use in the intercropping system was more than three times that in double cropping. The lower returns per labor hour in intercropping, however, exceeded the average off-farm wage in the region by a significant margin. Nutrient surpluses and irrigation water use are significant larger under the intercropping system. We conclude that the novel wheat-maize/watermelon intercropping system contributes to rural poverty alleviation and household-level food security, by raising farm incomes and generating more employment, but needs further improvement to enhance its sustainability.
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